Rear-End Collisions On Florida Roads
Many different types of accidents occur on Florida’s roads, but rear-end collisions are some of the most serious because the injured person often has no warning whatsoever that an accident is about to occur. If you have been involved in a rear-end collision, you may seek compensation for your injuries, either from your insurer or from the defendant if your injuries are severe, and there are certain factors that can affect a rear-end collision that do not come up with other types.
Rebuttable Presumption Matters
In Florida law, there is a rebuttable presumption that in the event of a rear-end crash, the driver who impacted the other car is negligent. Public policy and practical considerations are in favor of this; by rights, the vehicle in motion has a duty to operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner, and the front driver is less likely to know what may be approaching from the rear simply because they are keeping their eyes on the road.
That said, the presumption is rebuttable, meaning that if the rear-end driver can present evidence to overturn it, the burden of proof will shift back toward the front-end driver. For example, if the rear-end driver can show that the front driver stopped suddenly, or that they were illegally parked or occupying the space, the front-end driver must then establish that the rear-end driver was negligent with affirmative evidence, instead of simply relying on the presumption to do it for them.
Most Florida auto accidents are straightforward in terms of how they are handled. Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system requires that you seek compensation through your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Every Florida driver must carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage, as well as the same amount of property damage insurance coverage. In the event of an accident, PIP must be the first place you look in order to pay for damages or medical bills.
The no-fault system only applies in an accident case where the injuries and damages are relatively minor. If you have been severely injured – generally if your injuries are “significant and permanent,” you can ‘step outside’ the no-fault system, and file suit against the allegedly negligent defendant in order to try and recover not only for tangible damages, but for causes of action like pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of marital relations.
Contact An Orlando Auto Accident Attorney
When you are involved in an auto accident, you need experienced legal assistance to help you determine what your best course of action might be. The dedicated Orlando car accident lawyers at the Hornsby Law Group have years of experience in these types of cases, and are happy to try and assist you. Contact our offices today to schedule a free consultation.